Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Medical Conditions: Sickbed Blues

Delta blues giant Nehemiah Curtis ´Skip´ James (1902-1969) recorded some legendary sides in 1931, and then wasn´t heard of again until 1964. Blues hunters John Fahey, Henry Vestine and Bill Barth tracked him down to a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi, and soon after Skip found himself on stage at the renowned Newport Folk Festival. As opposed to many other rediscovered old bluesmen, and despite his poor health, Skip´s eerie high voice and unique playing style were still top notch, as the haunting Sickbed Blues from ´68 illustrates.

"The doctor came, lookin' very sad,
He diagnosed my case and said it was awful bad,
He walked away, a-mumblin' very low,
He said, "He may get better but he'll never get well no more..."

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